Current Articles of Interest

Truckers of Ag Products Allowed Hours of Service Exemption under Executive Order 2018-04
Suspicious Activity and Facility Security; fact sheets and information from TFI
SD Launches Sensitive Crop Registry
Dicamba Training
FMCSA ELD Waiver
Dicamba Relabeling
Worker Protection Standard Update
EPA and States' Collective Efforts Lead to Regulatory Action on Dicamba

Truckers of Ag Products Allowed Hours of Service Exemption under Executive Order 2018-04

On April 27, 2018 Governor Daugaard responded to a request from SDABA and signed Executive Order 2018-04 that declared that an emergency for planting and fertilizing crops in South Dakota due to unseasonably cold and wet weather and soil conditions.

Under federal regulations, anytime a Governor declares an emergency all Federal Motor Carriers Regulations (49 CFR 390-397) are automatically waived for transportation supporting the emergency. Since the emergency declared in Executive Order 2018-04 involves anything that helps get crops in the ground, all transportation is covered by the emergency and the trucks involved are exempt from Part 395, the hours of service regulations. This includes fertilizer, seed and pesticides.

Important reminders:

  • The South Dakota Highway Patrol will be notifying surrounding states of the South Dakota Emergency Declaration, BUT it is important to maintain a copy of the Executive Order 2018-04 in the truck to prove this exemption in other states. 
  • Driving time records must be kept for six months at their office, recorded as “Driving under emergency declaration”.
  • The Declaration of Emergency will end on May 31, 2018.

Please contact Kathy Zander at the SDABA office if you have questions or have any issues in other states at 605/224-2445 or kathy@sdaba.org.

Suspicious Activity and Facility Security; fact sheets and information from The Fertilizer Institute

The safe and secure handling of commercial fertilizers is paramount. In coordination with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), we have compiled key documents and information that may be of interest to the fertilizer industry and agribusinesses.
DHS has made available the following information and fact sheets:

Suspicious activity should always be reported to the FBI to prevent the illicit use of materials. Suspicious activity can be reported by calling 1-855-TELL-FBI (or 1-855-835-5324).

The FBI Chemical Countermeasures Unit is available to work with industry and provided the following information on a series of education programs they administer that may also be of interest. If you would like more information and/or to schedule a meeting with the appropriate personnel at the FBI, you can reach out directly to Justin Louchheim at TFI (202-515-2718) or Lisa Parnpichate at the FBI (202-324-1117).  

South Dakota Launches New Sensitive Crop Registry Providing Online Mapping for Specialty Crops and Honey Bees

The South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) announced a new partnership with FieldWatch, Inc. to introduce a new sensitive crop registry that will enhance communication between applicators and producers in South Dakota. FieldWatch is a not-for-profit company with existing registries in multiple states across the country. The new partnership will facilitate increased awareness and communication as part of ongoing stewardship activities.

The FieldWatch platform will allow beekeepers and commercial producers of specialty crops (such as tomatoes, fruit trees, grapes and organic crops) to register and map their sites online with an easy-to-use mapping tool and provide contact information about their operation. Pesticide applicators can access the site to help determine the scope and location of specialty crops and beehives in their areas. Registered applicators can sign up to receive email notifications when new specialty crop fields or beehives are added to their designated state, county or areas.

The new registry is free and voluntary to use. Both commercial and hobby beekeepers can use the system, however only managers and owners of specialty crop fields that are used for commercial production and are of at least a half-acre in size will have fields approved by the state data steward. FieldWatch is not intended for homeowners or those with small gardens.

Pesticide applicators will have different options for viewing locations on the new system, including in new mobile apps coming this spring, but all users (applicators, producers, and beekeepers) will need to go to www.fieldwatch.com and create an account to get started. For additional resources you can also visit www.fieldwatch.com/resources.

SDDA Reminds Producers of Mandatory Dicamba Training 

In December, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture (SDDA) approved Engenia, Xtendimax with Vapor Grip technology and Fexapan herbicides for use in South Dakota for the 2018 growing season. Per the label, all persons, private or commercial, applying these products must also complete dicamba-specific training and pass an examination. Documentation of completion of the training and examination will be required to apply these products.  Read more...

Training will be offered by each of the registering companies. Training dates and links for registration can be found on SDDA’s website at sdda.sd.gov, located under the “Happening Now” section. There is no cost to attend the training.

“I encourage all applicators to attend one of these trainings, whether or not you are considering using one of these products in 2018,” said Secretary of Agriculture Mike Jaspers. “Use of these products will require planning ahead. Now is the time to start. These trainings will provide valuable information on label restrictions and best practices for use of these products. In addition to trainings, producers should take time to start conversations with their agronomist, seed dealer and neighbors.”

Applicators may attend any of the dicamba-specific training to meet the requirement to use any of the three registered products. If an applicator attends training in a bordering state, the department will require proof of attendance to apply the products in South Dakota. Once proof of training has been received, each applicator will receive a new certification card in the mail. 

FMCSA ELD Waiver

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently published: 1) a limited 90-day waiver from the Federal HOS regulations pertaining to electronic logging devices (ELDs) for the transportation of agricultural commodities; and 2) proposed regulatory guidance concerning the transportation of agricultural commodities.  

The limited 90-Day ELD Waiver for the Transportation of Agricultural Commodities was in response to a request from the National Pork Producers Council on behalf of eight organizations representing livestock and other agricultural commodities.  The agency determined that the waiver is in the public interest and would likely achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved without the exemption.  The waiver expires on March 18, 2018.  The waiver does not alter any of the Hours of Service (HOS) regulations other than the method of recording HOS.

The Proposed Regulatory Guidance Concerning the Transportation of Agricultural Commodities is designed to clarify the applicability of the “agricultural commodity” exception to the Hours of Service regulations, and requests public comments.  The proposed regulatory guidance would clarify the exception with regard to drivers operating unladen vehicles traveling either to pick up an agricultural commodity or returning from a delivery; and drivers engaged in trips beyond 150 air-miles from the source of the agricultural commodity.

In addition, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seeks public comment on 1) Whether grain elevators and/or livestock sale barns should be considered a “source” of agricultural commodities; and 2) How the exception should apply when agricultural commodities are loaded at multiple sources during a trip.

For more information on ELDs, please visit www.fmcsa.dot.gov/eld.  

Dicamba Relabeling

If you have Engenia, Xtendimax or FeXapan product remaining in inventory from the 2017 season, you will be asked by the manufacturers of the product to relabel the containers with the new Restricted Use Pesticide labels.  Please be sure that your facility is a registered USEPA Pesticide Producing Establishment if you plan to relabel any of your inventory.  Read more...

If you do relabel, you must ensure that you apply the new label to each individual pesticide container, as well as the outside box that contains the individual jugs.  Minibulks must also be relabeled if they will be sold or distributed, as well as bulk storage tanks.  You must also record the amount (in gallons) that you relabel and it must be reported on your annual Pesticide Producing Establishment Report. 

If you affix the labels to the containers in 2017, it must be reported on your 2017 report that is due to USEPA on March 1, 2018.  If you affix the labels after January 1, 2018, you must wait and report that amount on your 2018 report, which is not due until March 1, 2019. 

 If you have any uncertainty as to whether your facility can legally apply the labels to the containers, please call the number on the instructions provided to you by the registrant, and make other arrangements for the products to be relabeled by your distributor. 

 Worker Protection Standard Update

The Worker Protection Standard (WPS) is a federal EPA regulation that primarily protects workers (people employed to perform work activities related to the production of agricultural plants) and pesticide handlers (people employed to mix, load or apply pesticides). On November 2, 2015, EPA revised the WPS, making significant changes to the rule’s requirements. To accomplish this, EPA added the new revisions to the end of the existing regulation.

Implementation of the revised rules are staggered over 3 years: 2016, 2017 and 2018. Until 2017, the existing regulations (subparts A, B and C of 40 CFR Part 170) will remain in effect with no changes. Compliance with most of the revised rule requirements (subparts D, E, F and G of 40 CFR Part 170) was effective beginning January 2, 2017. A table that summarizes the key provisions in EPA’s current WPS regulation and the 2015 revisions can be found online at https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/worker-protection-standard-wps-comparison-chart.

Everything you need to know about WPS can be found online at http://pesticideresources.org/index.html

  • How to Comply Manual
  • WPS Training Materials
  • WPS Handouts

EPA and States' Collective Efforts Lead to Regulatory Action on Dicamba

WASHINGTON (OCTOBER 13, 2017) — EPA has reached an agreement with Monsanto, BASF and DuPont on measures to further minimize the potential for drift to damage neighboring crops from the use of dicamba formulations used to control weeds in genetically modified cotton and soybeans. New requirements for the use of dicamba "over the top" (application to growing plants) will allow farmers to make informed choices for seed purchases for the 2018 growing season.  

"Today's actions are the result of intensive, collaborative efforts, working side by side with the states and university scientists from across the nation who have first-hand knowledge of the problem and workable solutions," said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. "Our collective efforts with our state partners ensure we are relying on the best, on-the-ground, information."

In a series of discussions, EPA worked cooperatively with states, land-grant universities, and the pesticide manufacturers to examine the underlying causes of recent crop damage in the farm belt and southeast. EPA carefully reviewed the available information and developed tangible changes to be implemented during the 2018 growing season. This is an example of cooperative federalism that leads to workable national-level solutions.

Manufacturers have voluntarily agreed to label changes that impose additional requirements for "over the top" use of these products next year including:

  • Classifying products as "restricted use," permitting only certified applicators with special training, and those under their supervision, to apply them; dicamba-specific training for all certified applicators to reinforce proper use;
  • Requiring farmers to maintain specific records regarding the use of these products to improve compliance with label restrictions;
  • Limiting applications to when maximum wind speeds are below 10 mph (from 15 mph) to reduce potential spray drift;
  • Reducing the times during the day when applications can occur
  • Enhancing susceptible crop language and record keeping with sensitive crop registries to increase awareness of risk to especially sensitive crops nearby.

Manufacturers have agreed to a process to get the revised labels into the hands of farmers in time for the 2018 use season. EPA will monitor the success of these changes to help inform our decision whether to allow the continued "over the top" use of dicamba beyond the 2018 growing season. When EPA registered these products, it set the registrations to expire in 2 years to allow EPA to change the registration, if necessary.

For more information: https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/registration-dicamba-use-genetically-engineered-crops